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Wealth as a Determinant of Comparative Advantage

  • José Wynne
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    This paper shows that a country's wealth can be an important determinant of comparative advantage when access to credit differs across sectors of the economy. Wealthier nations exhibit a comparative advantage toward goods produced in sectors facing more severe financial imperfections. These sectors are typically populated by small firms. Empirically this paper documents that these sectors are also labor intensive. Consequently, this theory partially offsets traditional sources of comparative advantage and offers an explanation for Trefler's missing trade mystery and the Leontief paradox. Furthermore, the theory makes the relation between trade and income distribution endogenous.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0002828053828626
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/mar05_data_wynne.zip
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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 95 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 226-254

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:1:p:226-254
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828053828626
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    1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1988. "Financial Development, Growth, And The Distribution Of Income," Working Papers 88-12, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    2. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    3. Hadar, Josef & Russell, William R., 1971. "Stochastic dominance and diversification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 288-305, September.
    4. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    5. Kenneth Kletzer and Pranab Bardhan., 1986. "Credit Markets and Patterns of International Trade," Economics Working Papers 8612, University of California at Berkeley.
    6. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
    7. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1994. "Poverty, Incentives, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 211-15, May.
    9. Leamer, Edward E, 1980. "The Leontief Paradox, Reconsidered," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 495-503, June.
    10. Boyd, John H. & Smith, Bruce D., 1997. "Capital Market Imperfections, International Credit Markets, and Nonconvergence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 335-364, April.
    11. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-86, June.
    12. Joydeep Bhattacharya, 1997. "Credit market imperfections, income distribution, and capital accumulation," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 171-200.
    13. Fischer, Ronald D, 1992. "Income Distribution in the Dynamic Two-Factor Trade Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(234), pages 221-33, May.
    14. Dan Bernhardt & Huw Lloyd-Ellis, 1993. "Enterprise, Inequality and Economic Development," Working Papers 893, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    15. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125515 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Beck, Thorsten, 2002. "Financial development and international trade: Is there a link?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 107-131, June.
    17. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 237-64, April.
    18. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth: Macroeconomic Implications of Community Structure and School Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 584-609, June.
    19. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Dynamic evolution of income distribution and credit-constrained human capital investment in open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 329-358, December.
    20. Piketty, Thomas, 1997. "The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit Rationing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 173-89, April.
    21. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 151-72, April.
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